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Inspired by Chris Froome and Sir Bradley Wiggins?

With British cycling riding high, many people are realising the benefits of getting on a bike whatever their age or fitness level
WebMD Feature
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

It took 99 years of Tour de France history to see a British winner of the Tour de France. But following on from Sir Bradley Wiggins's historic win in 2012, Chris Froome has now won the toughest bike race in the world three times.

The Team Sky riders like Chris burn around 6,750 calories a day on every stage of Le Tour and get thorough 10 litres of fluid a day.

Cycling is for anyone

You don't have to be Sir Bradley or Chris Froome to reap the benefits of cycling.

Remember as a child freewheeling down a hill on your bike, the wind in your hair, the exhilaration, the freedom? Well get out your old bike and give it another whirl.

More than three million people in the UK ride a bike each month and it’s getting more popular as a great way to get fit and healthy.

Team Sky's Dave Brailsford says on Team Sky's website: "We're trying to get more people and more kids involved in cycling.

"Build the base of the pyramid, encourage participation and make the sport a bit more mainstream than maybe it had been in the past. I'd like to think that we've done our little bit to promote that."

You don’t have to start out as an athlete when it comes to cycling. Most people can do it, from toddlers to teenagers, to people in their eighties and those with disabilities – with handcycling gaining in popularity.

Cycling is far easier to slot into your everyday life than many other forms of exercise. It has the benefit of getting you from A to B as well, so it could save you money on transport.

For anyone seeking to get involved in road racing, consider joining a cycling club - particularly, for younger cyclists, a club involved in British Cycling's Go Ride development programme. 

Cycling for health

Regular cycling can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.

The British Heart Foundation says cycling for 20 miles a week reduces your chance of getting heart disease by a half, compared to those who don’t exercise.

Nick Cavill is public health advisor to Cycling England. He’s looked into the health benefits of cycling.

"If you are a cyclist you’ll live longer as you’ll have reduced cardiovascular disease, it’s better for your lungs and cuts the risk of some cancers."

As a nation we are obese and cycling, like other forms of exercise, is a good way to lose weight.

In 2007 the Government-commissioned Foresight report predicted that if no action was taken 60% of men, 50% of women and 25% of children would be obese by 2050.

It called for big changes in our nutrition and physical activity.

So cycling could be a great way for you to make that change. The main advantage is you can make it part of your everyday life rather than having to find time to go to the gym or for a swim.

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